Additional Housing for World Equestrian Games Grooms Being Installed at Tryon, Organizers Apologize for Shortfall
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TRYON, North Carolina, Sept. 9, 2018–Additional housing “pods” for some of the hundreds of grooms taking care of horses at the World Equestrian Games were being installed at Tryon International Equestrian Center Sunday.
Sixty manufactured housing “pods” were already in use and 10 more were being added Sunday, a spokesperson for the WEG organization said.
Delays in providing enough housing for grooms required accommodating many at hotels with shuttles needed to get them to and from Tryon International Equestrian Center. Some others moved into cabins that had been assigned to national federation officials.
A total of up to 900 grooms–about 450 this week and 450 next week–are expected in Tryon over the next two weeks to care for horses for the championships of the world championships of eight equestrian disciplines Housing on-site has been considered vital for grooms who care for their horses around the clock.
Mark Bellissimo, managing partner of the group that owns the show grounds and the head of the organizing committee, issued an apology for the shortfall in on-site housing.
“I made a personal commitment to housing grooms on-site and I underestimated the demand,” he said. “I was too optimistic. I made a mistake and I apologize. We are doing everything we can to rectify the situation.
“Our organization has always been committed to recognizing the importance of grooms. They are a critical comonent to the success and well being of these equine athletes and we have the utmost respect for their daily work. We introduced an award three years ago across all our venues recognizing and honoring grooms during the prize giving ceremony supported by a monetary prize and we plan to do the same here at the FEI World Equestrian Games Tryon 2018.
“Without our grooms there would be no equestrian sport. You have my word that we will resolve all issues related to the grooms’ accommodation.”